El Oso Mostly Trad climbing27 routes in crag
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An amazing trad and sport climbing crag on top of the legendary Auyantepui.
During the Project “Alpinist 2010-2013” by the Alpine Club South Tyrol a group of young alpinist climbed a few new routes on the Auyantepuy. This tepui plateau, located in the Gran Sabana of Venezuela is quite difficult to reach but offers high quality climbing possibilities. During the February of 2012 the team of the Alpine Club opened together with Helmut Gargitter, Ivan Calderon and Bernd Arnold some twenty routes between one and five pitches, ranging between the difficulties 5c and 7c. The routes are all located around the Camp el Oso, on the plateau of the Auyantepui.
The plateau on top of the Auyantepui is disseminated with boulders of all sizes. The variety ranges between some small boulders and hundred and fty meters high rocks. The quartz-sediment stone can be found in different qualities, but fortunately in most cases and es- pecially around Camp el Oso it is perfect. There is only a very small chance of stonefall since the quality if the rock is very good and so there are virtually no loose stones on the climbs. The quality de- pends mainly on the percentage of quartz contained in the stone. Generally the lighter the color the better it holds. Caution is neces- sary with the natural anchor points since they tend to hold less than the equivalemnts in limestone.
The usual way to get to the Auyantepui is by plane from Ciudad Bolivar. The trek starts from the airstrip at the Camp Uruyen. The Camp el Oso on the plateau on top of the tepui is reached in three to four days of walking. The trek continues to the Angel falls. The path to Camp el Oso is well-worn aldough it’s rare to encounter other groups. The path is very muddy and especially the last day quite steep. The most difficult parts over big stones are equipped with ropes.
From Camp el Oso all the routes can be reached in half an hour of walking. They are reached by a very bad path that leads over and under rocks and is almost an adventure to itself.
Where to stay
The ideal base is camp El Oso on the main Auyantepui trek. A big overhanging boulder offers shelter for several tents. It is located 15-30min from the climbs.
Apart from some sport routes the routes were all climbed in traditional alpine style. There were used almost only friends and slings. Only in the most difficult parts of the climbs and in the worst belay stances bolts were used. We used 8x10 INOX expansion bolts and were most carefull in placing them.
All routes can be climbed with a normal alpine equipment (NAA), this consists of a full set of friends with some of the smaller numbers and a good selection of slings. These are especially usefull on corner pitches and in the easier routes, be sure to bring also some long slings. There is not much use for nails.
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